Main Forums > Someone I Care About Has HIV

My boyfriend of a year is poz

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mecch:
I wish you all the best and hope you are not positive.

Ann:
Hi Ferris, welcome to the forums.

I have to say that while you made the inexplicable mistake of having unprotected sex with someone whose hiv status you didn't know, you're dealing with this in a very mature, compassionate way. Despite a bit of theatrics. :)

What impresses me the most is that you are owning your responsibility in this situation. All too often we see the negative partner abdicating all responsibility when they bareback first and find out their partner is poz later. Intimate relations are always a two way street. (Aside from rape, obviously.)

I'm also happy to read that you seem to understand why he didn't come right out and tell you about his status. If you read through some of the threads in the Living forum (you may read there, but not post), you'll see that many of them deal with disclosure and how difficult it can be for many people.

And you're correct, a lot of it has to do with a deep-seated fear of rejection. We all want to be loved, we all want to "belong". It's human nature. One thing that newly diagnosed people often worry about the most is "will I ever be loved again?" It's frightening to think that a stupid effing virus might mean you'll be alone the rest of your life. It can shake you to your very core.

The "when to tell" thing is often the most difficult consideration where disclosure is concerned. If you two got together in a fairly casual way at first, he may have waited to see if you "clicked" before telling you. This can lead to a tricky situation because - in my experience anyway - the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes to have that discussion. It's easy to keep putting it off and before you know it, more time has passed than you realise.

I hope you two can work through the betrayal aspects of this situation. It sounds as though you do truly love him - and remember, he's the same guy you fell in love with. You've found out about some extra baggage he carries, but it's not insurmountable baggage. Love can - and will - conquer hiv.



Like JK and Mecch, I also fully expect you'll test hiv negative because your partner has had an UD VL the whole time you've been together. Even if he hadn't, your chances of testing negative would still have been very high as hiv is more difficult to transmit to a top. Not impossible, mind you, just much more difficult.

If you need help finding a place to test near you, go put your zip code into the Health Services Directory at poz.com. Use the top (no pun intended! lol) search box.

You need to be aware of the window period for hiv testing. The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days. A six week negative is highly unlikely to change, but must be confirmed at the three month point.

This means that a six week (or more) negative following the last time you topped unprotected will indicate that you're hiv negative. Even a four week negative is unlikely to change, but a six week negative? I've yet to see one change over in the Am I Infected forum. That's in about twelve years of being a member of these forums.

I was with an hiv negative man for a year and a half before I was diagnosed. During that time we never used condoms and yet he tested negative. Obviously I was always the bottom. ;) And also obviously, I wasn't on meds pre-diagnosis. We stayed together for another six/seven years and he remained hiv negative and all we did to keep him that way was to use condoms. I wasn't ever on meds during our relationship. He is hiv negative to this day.

One thing you may want to do to increase your confidence going forward is to test now and then - the negative results will show you that you're doing things right in regards to protecting your negative status.

In my own serodiscordant relationship, he tested every three months in the first year (clinic recommendation), then yearly for the next couple years and by the time we split up he hadn't bothered to test for several years, because we knew we'd been safe. I made him go test again when we split, for my peace of mind if nothing else even though I fully expected another negative result. And that's exactly what he got.

By the way, if I knew when I was newly diagnosed what I know now about hiv transmission and testing, I wouldn't have allowed the clinic to put him through three-monthly testing in the first year. It was a waste of time and resources once he'd gotten the initial all-clear after the first conclusive negative. However, I suppose it did a lot to ease his mind, even if it was a bit nerve-racking to wait for the results.

Good luck Ferris. I do expect you'll come out of this with your negative status intact and I hope you two can work things out. I get the feeling you're both good people, so don't throw your relationship out the window just because of a virus that today's meds are keeping in check. People infected, diagnosed and put on treatment in the 21st century are living full lives and pretty much have the same life-expectancy as anyone else.

Ann



edited because I called you Travis in the last paragraph by mistake

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